The Typical Convert


#1

Within the US, what denominations / backgrounds do many converts to Catholicism usually hail from? I’ve read that a lot of Evangelicals are converting in large numbers. Any thoughts? Let’s hear some statistics.

Keep in mind, I’m referring to converts who are devout Catholics… not the ones who convert for the wrong reasons.


#2

Ha im from a more evangelical side of Christianity!!! and well now im here :smiley: :smiley:


#3

It seems like someone published these statistics awhile back, but I can’t find them now. I would also be ver interested to know this.

Anecdotally, almost all the converts to Catholicism that I know were former Evangelicals. The ones who were not converted at their wives’ behest.


#4

Ah, I think the study I had in the back of my mind was about the opposite phenomenon–people who leave the Catholic Church and where they end up:

pewforum.org/Faith-in-Flux%283%29.aspx

So it would still be nice to see the other side of the coin.


#5

Some interesting stuff on the decline in the number of converts, but still not there…

nineteensixty-four.blogspot.com/2011/08/research-notes.html

This site might have the info somewhere.


#6

I was a Baptist.


#7

It seems that many converts here in America were former Anti-Catholics… Tim Staples, Scott Hahn, etc. Ever noticed that??


#8

My husband and I, along with our daughter, are former evangelical Protestants. The last church we were involved with was Evangelical Free Church in America, but over the years we were members of Conference Baptist, Assemblies of God, Southern Baptist, Christian and Missionary Alliance, and the Christian church (Campbellite, hence no capital letters for the name of the church). It is very common for evangelical Protestants to belong to several different churches and denominations during their lives, especially if they move a lot.

We see two groups of Protestant converts to Catholicism:

  1. Evangelicals who have faithfully sought God’s will through His Word and prayed to know Jesus–God answers that prayer by leading them to the Catholic Church! Many evangelicals recognize that the Catholic Church is the Church described in the Bible, and “get” the connection between the Catholic Church and the Old Testament. Since they already know Jesus and have promised to follow Him, they obey when the Holy Spirit tells them to become Catholic.

  2. Mainline Protestants (Lutheran, Methodist, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, etc–the “old” churches) who become disgusted with the theologically and socially liberal teachings in their denominations. These Mainline Christians are used to a liturgical worship service and therefore don’t see Catholicism as “strange,” but rather, are pleased to convert in order to get the correct Christian teachings.

In addition, we see several groups among evangelical Protestant converts:

a) Those who become interested in “the early Church” and begin a study of Acts, the writings of the early Church fathers, church history, etc., and through doing this, recognize that the Catholic Church IS the Church that Jesus Christ established on this earth.

b) Those who were hurt in some way in their evangelical Protestant church or fellowship (this is the group that my husband and I fit into).

c) Those who grew tired of church hopping and the constant variety of worship service “experiences” and longed for constancy. Some of these people dislike the “Praise and Worship” times that are becoming standard procedure in Protestant worship services, and seek out churches that still do traditional hymns; Many of the Mainline Protestant churches still offer a “traditional” worship service, but for evangelical Protestants, the liberal teachings of these Mainline churches put them on the “don’t” list.

d) Those who are working in various conservative causes, especially pro-life, and come to recognize that the Catholic Church has always taught the truth about these issues.

No matter which group the evangelical Protestants come from, they all come to realize that the Bible teaches Catholicism. This is key for evangelical Protestants–if it’s not in the Bible, they won’t follow it! Remember that, everyone, when you talk to evangelical Protestants, and be prepared!


#9

i myself have re-verted from atheism and something that is not polite to mention amoung pleasent people.

other Converts and reverts that i have met and thos that i hopefully have planted a seed of God’s love in them

are from almost every religion ive heard of

and i have yet to hear of a convert from nihihism, (though i have met converts from similar religions/beliefs ) Raëlism, Solipsism, auraraism, some branches of wiccism, some local religions in africa, yet to here of a christian in an isolated country were the leaders are/were worshiped as descendants of dragons (their version of Dinosaurs it seems ), animism, Zoroastrianism, shamanism, and Kemetic faith. (plus a few others that i cannot think of at the moment )

Hope this helps
Shalom
GOD Bless


#10

i was an episcopalian and briefly an anglican and i believe many converts to the Catholic church do convert from those 2 denominations.

i would like to ask the OP who converts for the wrong reasons and what that is supposed to mean?


#11

I’m guessing those who just do it to marry someone. I knew this one guy who converted to impressed a girl he liked. Turns out she’s not the dating type. From what I heard, he quit going to Mass.


#12

there are definitely cases of people converting so they can marry.

would that be a wrong reason to convert though? i would hope the person would take the conversion process seriously.


#13

It’s not a wrong reason to convert if the person is sincere. I don’t know about you, but I know a lot of people who converted to a different religion in order to marry someone, and they weren’t sincere. Once the wedding was over, the religious practices stopped, usually for BOTH spouses. For so many people in the United States, religion is not something that they take seriously at all.

Sometimes, though, when the couple has children, they re-think the lack of religion in their lives and return to practicing their religion, so it can work out. I’ve seen this happen several times with people I know.


#14

You are drawn to most that what you hate the most.:wink:


#15

I am a revert I guess!

I was part of a Catholic bashing Evangelical\fundamentalist Christian community called Calvary Chapel.

I converted (or reverted rather) after listening to weekly Catholic bashing polemics, so I thought I should explore all these unbiblical things Catholics do like believe Jesus is still on the cross, worship Mary, do not believe the bible, invented a ministerial priesthood, believe the pope is the head of the Church instead of Christ, pray to the dead, say Peter is the rock not Christ, practice a form of caniblism with the eucharist, don’t belive in OSAS, not permit divorce…etc…etc oh yeah, and is the whore of babylon. :wink:


#16

yes, i remember many years ago taking a discovering judaism class at a local synagogue and many people in our class were marrying someone who was Jewish and they were converting or taking the class to learn more about Judaism. i was taking the class simply to learn more about the Jewish faith. the class lasted about 9 months. it was very interesting. one of the women in the class was Catholic and marrying a Jewish man.
i don’t know if she ever converted or her husband wanted her to understand his faith more fully before they married. in interfaith marriages, when children arrive, that is when the crisis of faith comes up as to which religion the children will be raised.


#17

I’d think it would be defined by the predominant faith of a region/location. The US is predominantly Protestant, so most converts will most likely come from Protestantism.

Here in UT, most of our converts come from Mormon or Protestant backgrounds.


#18

I was a Southern Baptist preacher’s daughter. When I left home more than 25 yrs ago, I was determined to find the true church. I spent the better part of the next ten years church-hopping and trying to figure out where I belonged. In total frustration and near despair I begged God to bring me to whatever was necessary to show me what church I should belong to. Not long after that a suicide attempt provided me the eye-opener I needed to become Catholic and I haven’t looked back since. My worst day as a Catholic is better than my best day without the Church because I have something I never had before - peace. Needless to say, this conversion didn’t go over well with my family. I was effectively wiped off from the family tree along with my children. Holidays and special occasions are painful reminders of what we left behind, but at the same time they give us the opportunity to practice our faith and make us even more thankful for what we have now - a foundation which cannot crumble. Thanks be to God.


#19

Wow. Your post really moved me. God bless you.

I was a former Evangelical - Sunday School teacher, Awana leader - Bible study leader. Very active in my Church. Thought Catholics were nutty - and probably not “real” Christians.

God led me to the Catholic Church - practically kicking and screaming. That was 7 years ago - and I am so thankful every single day. I agree with you, marthagreys - there is peace in this place.


#20

Sadly, I think that my family would be happier if I was becoming a JW or even a Mormon instead of Catholic!
I did not realize how much self righteous hatred the Catholic church is still regarded with by so many. My family can t even fathom how I could not be pro abortion! They are scandalized that my girls are saying they will will wait until marriage for sexual relations.
I would be very interested to hear how other converts are dealing with family disapproval.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.